Extending Flexi-wage another failure for Labour

New Zealanders are still waiting on the details of Labour’s extension to the Flexi-wage scheme, despite the Prime Minister promising it would be in place before Christmas, National’s Social Development & Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

At its campaign launch last year, Labour committed to extending the flexi-wage scheme. The Prime Minister promised the scheme would be implemented ‘prior to Christmas’ to assist business owners to take on workers over the Christmas/New Year period, rather than waiting until after the holiday period.

“Right now more than 200,000 Kiwis are on the jobseeker benefit,” Ms Upston says.

“With the details still to be released, Labour’s inability to follow through on its commitment risks seeing more New Zealanders move into long-term unemployment.

“Announcements alone do nothing to help those without jobs, or those who have been forced to work fewer hours due to COVID-19. If helping those most in need was a serious priority for the Government it would’ve finalised the scheme before Parliament ended for the year.

“Many young Kiwis are struggling to find summer jobs and others are just desperate to get any job at all to support their families. National first implemented Flexi-wage in 2012 to support those most at risk of remaining on welfare long-term, to get back into work and upskill.

“It’s disappointing that the Prime Minister has failed to follow through on her commitment to support those New Zealanders who are desperate to find work right now.

“Labour must start working harder for the sake of those who are willing to work but whose career aspirations have been curtailed in the current economic climate.”